Five questions to ask a nonprofit before making a donation

On their Facebook page, Fourth Generation — the young professionals group of The Minneapolis Foundation — has posted a link to an article by Sean Stannard-Stockton, CEO of the Tactical Philanthropy Advisors firm and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Philanthropy and Social Investing.

The article — which Fourth Generation says has been helpful to their grantmaking process — discusses questions donors should ask nonprofits before making a significant donation.

Stannard-Stockton details the importance of asking questions such as:

– On what research or evidence did the organization design its programs?
– What information does the nonprofit collect about the results of its programs?
– How does the organization systematically analyze the information it collects?

Read Stannard-Stockton’s advice at his Tactical Philanthropy blog

How do you choose which organizations to donate to each year? Tell us in the comment section below.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Tim Huebsch on 11/22/2010 - 09:42 am.

    Choosing the organizations that I support annually for me is really two fold. There are those organizations that I have ongoing relationships with that I continue to fund because they are doing great things for the community. I also look for new organizations that I have just found out about or have special fundraising projects.

    Over the last few years I have really enjoyed getting involved with Give to the Max Day as part of GiveMN (http://www.GiveMN.com). It is a great site to learn more about organizations and each year have ended up giving to one or two additional groups that I had never given to in the past.

    One of the key pieces for me is looking at how I can leverage my donations to create root level change that is many times greater than the base amount that I give. The concept around this is really looking at it from a strategic philanthropy mindset to find ways to go towards the source and leverage my gift through matching funds or challenge grants. I wrote an article on this last year on the Leadership and Community site which might be interesting for you to read. (http://www.leadershipandcommunity.com/2009/10/29/strategic-philanthropy-vs-charity/).

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